Missionary Dan Email #16 from Vancouver, Washington

Daniel (left) with Elders Hardy, Hodson, and Draper

Daniel (left) with Elders Hardy, Hodson, and Draper.

This week went very well. We had some of the best work I’ve had since coming to this mission. The Lord really blessed us and we were grateful.

There are many exciting stories to share, but I’ll just mention one. We have been meeting with an investigator that has been thinking that he doesn’t have nice enough clothes to come to our church. We didn’t really know that was his concern, but we left him with a commitment to read Alma 32. He read the chapter and when we returned he mentioned to us that it talks about people being kicked out of the churches because they were poor. It teaches that it is more important to have faith.

He said, “Did you know that was in there? You hit it right on with that chapter you gave me to read.” We were again grateful for the guidance of the Spirit and were able to resolve his concern. It opened up the opportunity to resolve other concerns as well. We are hoping he will come this Sunday.

This coming preparation day will be on Monday. We are having a 4 day mission-wide leadership training from Tuesday to Friday next week. It will be exciting. The elders currently in my district are great and I’m glad to have them. Thanks for everything you do, I love you all.

Love, Elder Willoughby

Elder Daniel Willoughby is serving in the Washington Kennewick Mission. If you want to communicate with Daniel, write in the comments or use one of these addresses.
Rickety signature.

Missionary Dan Email #15 from Vancouver, Washington

Elder Hardy and Elder Willoughby

So Wednesday we picked up our new companions. My companion is Elder Hardy from Atlanta, Georgia. He lived close to where I served for three weeks, so that was really cool. He plays the guitar and had a job working at a pest control company selling door to door. He has lots of good ideas that work for tracting, but we keep in mind that following the Spirit is most important. We have had many great experiences already, which comes from working with new missionaries. They are fresh from the MTC full of faith, desire, and excitement which does wonders.

I was prompted to turn down a street that I’d never really noticed before. As it so happens we talked to a man and he allowed us to teach him about the restoration. We gave him a Book of Mormon and said we could come back. The road also was a shortcut to where we wanted to get to. I was grateful for the guidance of the Spirit and it strengthens my testimony that the Lord uses us as instruments. I think rarely do things happen by coincidence especially in the mission field.

At church there is a girl that has been coming to church for about three months. With family problems etc it has prevented her from being baptized and meeting with us. We hope to meet with her soon and she’ll be baptized. That should be exciting.

With the push to have effective plans for each hour and increased desire to find people to teach I expect great things to happen. The Lord has blessed us already. Thanks for all the emails. Good job posting on Mormon.org Dad. It looks like its getting really high-tech. Where are you going on a cruise again? Ask Matt if I’m still vice-president of Fence4u too. Thanks.

Love, Elder Willoughby

Elder Daniel Willoughby is serving in the Washington Kennewick Mission. If you want to communicate with Daniel, write in the comments or use one of these addresses.
Rickety signature.

Missionary Dan Email #14 from Vancouver, Washington

Riding scooters. Daniel on left.

Transfer calls created chaos (kind of). Every companionship in my district is changing. Only three Elders (including me) are staying and the rest are going to be different. It was quite surprising. Elder Draper and I are sticking it out in the apartment with two new missionaries to train. We were both humbled by the call and excited at the same time. We’ll get to meet them tomorrow.

The hike last week was really fun and it was nice to be with the whole district. The picture in front of the waterfall is with Elder Draper.
Elder Draper and Elder Willoughby by waterfall

My bike had an interesting experience. The back tire’s bearings fell out making it out of commission. That is okay because today is the best day to fix it. It’ll be good to go soon. We decided to ride some scooters around while it wasn’t working (see picture). The person on the training wheels is Nathan in the ward leaving on a mission soon who likes to go around to lessons with us.

Church was great. We were able to have five investigators there. Mostly the ones that have always been coming regularly. Hopefully they will make the commitment to baptism soon. The members are sad to see Elder Derges leave. I am too, we did lots of great work together and had lots of fun.

Thanks for all the support and letters. Keep up the great work.

Love, Elder Willoughby

Vancouver North District A

Vancouver North District A. Daniel third from right.

District hike

District hike. Daniel front left.

Elder Daniel Willoughby is serving in the Washington Kennewick Mission. If you want to communicate with Daniel, write in the comments or use one of these addresses.
Rickety signature.

Missionary Dan Email #13 from Vancouver, Washington

President and Sister Greer with missionaries. Daniel is third from left rear.

President and Sister Greer with missionaries. Daniel is third from left rear.

The 4th of July was lots of fun. We got to watch a few fireworks from our apartments backyard. We were completely surrounded on all sides with people launching fireworks into the air. Since they are legal here they are everywhere.

We were riding our bikes at the usual quick pace that we do and we were coming up on a driveway that leads down a slight hill. I was just about past it when I glanced over and saw a lady washing her car. I slammed on my brakes causing my companion to almost hit me and went and talked to her. She happened to be a member who’d been less active for 20 years. She was married and sealed in the temple, but now is divorced. We invited her back and we’ll see what comes from it. It was great to have the Spirit direct us like that.

We met our new president and his wife. I sent a picture of the zone with them in it (see above). He is really cool and seems like he’ll do great.

New fence

Elder Draper and I worked on a fence while I was on an exchange with him. It was fun to get back into fencing. We got the hang of it and got a lot of work done.

Sister Mary Cook with Elders

Sister Mary Cook with Elders, Daniel on left.

I included pictures of the dance festival and also with Sister Cook. It was a good week and today we are planning on going hiking. It should be a hot day. Thanks for all the great emails and support. I’m not sure if Elder Od Bayar got his gloves yet, but I’m sure he’ll let us know soon. The lawn we mowed was not for a member, but lived right next door to one.

Dance Festival

Dance Festival with 1,800 youth preparing for six months

Many non-members danced in the festival

Many non-members danced in the festival

 We walked out with white flags on both sides of the youth

We walked out with white flags on both sides of the youth

The Truth Of God

We recited the “Standard of Truth” in unity and powerfully. Daniel on right.

After the Dance Festival

We also had many opportunities to talk to the youth between performances. Daniel holding cup.

Rickety Note: See last week’s email for a full account of the Dance Festival.

Love, Elder Willoughby

Elder Daniel Willoughby is serving in the Washington Kennewick Mission. If you want to communicate with Daniel, write in the comments or use one of these addresses.
Rickety signature.

Missionary Dan Email #12 from Vancouver, Washington

Taco building in Mongolia

The baby looks great and I’m glad the vacation went well.

So we mowed someone’s lawn this week for service. I took some before and after pictures. It was really exciting and was fun to have grass flying everywhere and all over us.

Before mowing the grassWe also got to participate in a dance festival that was held for all the youth that live here. Over 1,800 of them had prepared for six months working on dances to where they performed three times. Once on Friday and twice Saturday. We were ushers for the shows and were also able to be part of the youth conference on Saturday morning. At the end of the show while all the 1,800 youth were on the field singing “How Firm a Foundation” we walked out with white flags on both sides of them. There was about 80 missionaries that walked out in two lines of us on both sides of them and it was a very powerful effect on the crowd.

There was many non-members that danced in the festival and many that attended to watch. In youth conference we were the main event and the youth stood and cheered as we came out on the field. We recited the “Standard of Truth” in unity and powerfully. Afterward President Belnap spoke followed by Sister Cook, First councilor in the General Young Women Presidency.

After mowing the grassWe also had many opportunities to talk to the youth between performances and youth conference. That was a great and lots of fun to get to know them and for them to interact with missionaries. Overall the festival was really fun and a great influence with everyone that went. Even though it took two days from normal missionary work, we got a lot of missionary work done among our own church youth and non-members that came. They say that a movie of the whole event will be made, but it probably won’t be out till September sometime. Hopefully all missionaries will get a copy.

I talked to Sister Cook after youth conference was over because she told of her experience while she was in Mongolia. Her husband was the first mission president there. She talked about a very tall, sail looking building in Mongolia that had a poor foundation and couldn’t be used (all the missionaries there called it the “taco building” — see picture). She went right along with the theme of the dance festival of “Firm Foundation.”

Mary N. CookAs she was talking I showed missionaries near me a picture of the building which I just still happen to have on my camera (no worries, I have made picture backups). I showed Sister Cook too and she was excited to talk to me about Mongolia. She told of how she had just been there and how the members and missionaries have been stepping it up. Their goal is to have a temple there and they are still headed in that direction. And many other things did she say unto me. It was wonderful to hear about it.

It was a great week and we look forward to meeting our new president on Thursday. Thanks for all the support.

Love, Elder Willoughby

Elder Daniel Willoughby is serving in the Washington Kennewick Mission. If you want to communicate with Daniel, write in the comments or use one of these addresses.
Rickety signature.

Missionary Dan Email #11 from Vancouver, Washington

Portland Oregon Temple

Portland Oregon Temple. Left to right: Elders Orr, Applegarth, Draper, Zollinger, Derges, and Willoughby

This was an eventful week. Not quite as much happened this week. We had our last Zone Conference with President Belnap and the spirit there was wonderful. The new President is coming and will be here by the beginning of July. It looked like you all had a good hike.

Portland Oregon Bridge

Portland, just a bridge on the drive home

We also had the opportunity to go the the temple. It was awesome and I really enjoy going there. There is always a special spirit there. I think, Dad, since Sarah and Derek moved back to Utah, we might need to plan a different temple trip… ha ha. I really am impressed with your phone and camera. I counted four churches in the zoomed up picture of the valley. Seems about right for Utah. Happy Fathers Day, I am very happy that you are my Dad and I love you.

Have a great time going to the Redwoods and good luck with the new baby if it comes. Thanks for the package Mom! All the elders in the apartment and I started the little workout it has and we were really excited.

Love, Elder Willoughby

Elder Daniel Willoughby is serving in the Washington Kennewick Mission. If you want to communicate with Daniel, write in the comments or use one of these addresses.
Rickety signature.

Portland Oregon Temple

Portland Oregon Temple

Missionary Dan Email #10 from Vancouver, Washington

Sunrise in Vancouver Washington

Sunrise in Vancouver, Washington

We had a busy week knocking on doors and hearing lots of anti-Mormon claims, having an offer for help if we ever think we are in a cult, and another yelling at us to leave him alone. At the same time we had an increase of new investigators, great lessons taught, and lots of experiences where we knew we were following the Spirit. It was truly an awesome week and left us with a stronger conviction to work harder and to do what the Lord would have us do.

I don’t think I remember a week where we talked to as many people that had negative views of the Church. We usually don’t run into as many, but this week was different. Gratefully we know where the Church stands and were able to answer questions and respond to them in a Christ-like way. The main issue that they had and what it came down to is they don’t believe in a prophet that can receive revelation. So we told them to pray to know about the Book of Mormon and that will help them to know God works through prophets today.

While we had some opposition, it was out weighed by the amount of success. In district meeting we had a focus on finding new people to teach. It is a mission-wide focus this transfer, so we set a goal as a district to find 20 new investigators. All of us were excited and had the faith that the Lord would help us. It was the next day my companion and I got out of a lesson and it was pouring rain. We ventured out into the rain when we saw a young man walking towards us and talked to him. He said he had time right then to listen to us and invited us to his home, which was close by. We were grateful to find him as he was very willing to listen.

Near the same area, but a different day, we had an early lesson which made us miss some study in the morning. We tried for our next appointment, but she was leaving soon so I had the thought to go study near where all the mailboxes are located in the trailer park. It was close by so we did and after 20 or so minutes a lady came to mail her letters. We talked to her and she shared how she was about to go to an addiction recovery program that day and was terrified. She mentioned the program suggested learning and getting involved with religion. She was a recovering opium addict and had come along way by herself. As we shared how Jesus Christ suffered and knew how she felt she was comforted. We also testified of the help that is available through the Church. In tears she said she knew we were there at that time for a reason and we had truly helped her that day. We thanked the Lord for guiding us on where to be for her.

Then Saturday we put together 20 names of potential investigators or people that said we could come by later. We had fun with it and were having a great time trying to contact them. We made a wrong turn on our route which brought us to some names we planned to contact much later. We decided to do it then, getting a return appointment with one family, and met another man outside. We were able to teach him on the street and leave him with a Book of Mormon. He had just recently become very interested in religion. Another great find!

The Lord truly blessed us and the district as the week ended, we managed to find 17 total new investigators, which was a huge improvement. I have great elders in my district.

We too had great lessons teaching progressing investigators with many of them asking great questions during the lesson, opening up opportunities to teach. We challenged a couple to baptism and they were positive, just not willing to set a specific date. The ward is great and I am happy to serve in it.

They had us speak Sunday and the Bishop stood up afterwards to correct false doctrine. Just kidding… He encouraged the members that they can trust us with their friends and we have a great calling and mantle as missionaries.

Each day is crammed with experiences that I could share that it is just a testimony that the Lord knows how to do His work. I am glad to be a servant for Him. Thanks for everything you do for me family!

Love, Elder Willoughby

Elder Daniel Willoughby is serving in the Washington Kennewick Mission. If you want to communicate with Daniel, write in the comments or use one of these addresses.

Photo Credit: prentz
Rickety signature.

Missionary Dan Email #9 from Vancouver, Washington

Lucia Falls, Vancouver

Lucia Falls, Vancouver

There was a lot of changes this week. It took about ten minutes to drive to my new area, so it’s close to where I still was. It is a great area and my new companion is Elder Derges. He was originally born in Russia and was adopted by an American family that lives in Missouri when he was 13. He has a little bit of an accent, but that’s all you can tell about him being Russian. He works hard and we get along great. We live in an apartment with two other elders, Elder Zollinger and Elder Draper. Elder Draper was a waiting for a visa to go to Mongolia, but wasn’t able to go. We enjoy talking with each other.

My address:

12608 NE 72nd St. B 14
Vancouver, WA 98682

The ward is great and was very friendly. We have been fed very well and members come out with us almost every night. We have a young man preparing to go on a mission and he spends Mondays with us up till dinner. We took him tracking and he did great on his first door.

I figured I’d be permanently assigned to this mission. It is a good place to be. I’ve learned many things. It would be awesome to get to go back to Mongolia some time after my mission. I guess I’d better get saving.

We had fun going out when it was pouring rain on Sunday morning. We got soaked and were dripping wet. The locals say it is very unusual that it is raining this much in June.

I was surprised to become District leader, for only being in the mission for three months. We had a training meeting on Friday so I’ll get the hang of it. The elders are great in my district and I look forward to learning new things from them.

Thanks for the pictures, Dad, they looked great! The things you did in city council was awesome too. Keep up the good work. I don’t know about having a pink computer… seems like… well… the paint job was nicely done. Good job Adelaide. Thanks for the continued support and letters.

Jake and Mom, Elder Draper would like a Mongolian General Conference CD and my new companion Elder Derges would like one in Russian. That’d be great if you’d do that.

Love, Elder Willoughby

Elder Daniel Willoughby is serving in the Washington Kennewick Mission. If you want to communicate with Daniel, write in the comments or use one of these addresses.

Photo Credit: fetopher
Rickety signature.

Official: Daniel Will Not Be Returning To Mongolia

Elder Daniel WilloughbyWe were hoping that Daniel would be able to return to the Mongolia Ulaanbaatar Mission. But now we know for sure that he will finish his service in the Washington Kennewick Mission.

Today we received a letter signed by President Monson:

Dear Elder Willoughby,

This letter is to confirm that your mission assignment has been changed from the Mongolia Ulaanbatar Mission to the Washington Kennewick Mission.

We appreciate your willingness to accept this assignment and are confident that you will be able to successfully fulfill this new calling.

I am glad the Church was able to reassign Daniel so quickly and put him to work. He is happy to serve in Washington. And he will be able to learn English again for when he comes home.

If you want to communicate with Daniel, write in the comments or use one of these addresses.
Rickety signature.